The Centre on Saturday decided not to open up international air travel till June-end, while the decision to restart services will be taken only in July, depending upon the prevailing circumstances at that time.
The development came as the fifth phase of the national lockdown was announced on Saturday which will last in the containment zones from till June 30. The guidelines said that only a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country, including international air travel of passengers till June-end.
The Centre had allowed limited domestic passenger flights about one-third of the summer schedule -- to operate between metros and other destinations from May 25.
Passenger air services were suspended on March 25 due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of COVID-19.
The domestic airlines were resumed recently. Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Civil Aviation recently said that if the COVID-19 rates are under control, then the Centre will consider restarting international flights by June end or July.
Puri in interaction from Facebook had said, “I am fully hopeful that before August or September, we will try to start a good percentage of international civil aviation operations if not complete international operations. We must have a more ambitious goal (regarding international flights). Why not start them by mid-June or June-end or in July.”